Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler reportedly split after 9 years together — here's a timeline of their relationship

Alberto E. Rodriguez / GettyThe pair has known each other for years.
  • Austin Butler and Vanessa Hudgens reportedly met on the set of “High School Musical” in 2005.
  • In 2017, the pair spoke about how they make the long-distance parts of their relationship work.
  • On Tuesday, a source confirmed to UsWeekly that the two had broken up after dating for nearly nine years.
  • Representatives for Austin Butler and Vanessa Hudgens didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Former Disney stars Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler have known each other for over a decade. And over the past few years, the actors worked on a number of solo projects while, at times, managing a long-distance relationship.

On Tuesday, a source confirmed to UsWeekly that the two had broken up after dating for nearly nine years. Representatives for Austin Butler and Vanessa Hudgens didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Here’s a timeline of Butler and Hudgens’ relationship, from when they first met to their reported breakup.


2005: Hudgens and Butler reportedly met on the set of “High School Musical.”

Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesVanessa Hudgens was dating co-star Zac Efron at the time.

According to the Daily Mail, Hudgens and Butler were first introduced while the actress was filming the very first “High School Musical,” though Butler was not in the film.

Hudgens had just begun dating Zac Efron at that time.


September 2011: Butler was reportedly seen leaving Hudgens’ house, sparking romance reports.

BuzzFoto/FilmMagicAustin Butler was photographed leaving Vanessa Hudgens’ house.

After Hudgens’ split from Efron in December 2010, she was linked to actor Josh Hutcherson and then Butler after the “Zoey 101” actor was leaving her home one night in September 2011.

At the time, a source told Hollywood Life that it was a “friends with benefits situation,” but the pair packed on the PDA just days later at Bob’s Big Boy in Los Angeles.

“They were together but in a large group,” a source told People. “They were not doing anything to show that they were really together romantically but they were definitely hanging out and having fun.”


September 2012: The pair took their romance out on the town.

Noel Vasquez/Getty ImagesThe two at a Knicks game.

Although Butler and Hudgens didn’t appear in any hurry to put a label on their relationship, they enjoyed keeping fans guessing during most of 2012.

In September, the couple was spotted having a romantic Italian dinner in Venice and, in December, they were seen kissing at a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden.


December 6, 2013: Butler made his first appearance on Hudgens’ Instagram.

Brent N. Clarke/Invision/APThis was the first time Butler had made it onto her social media.

Hudgens posted the very first photo of her reported beau on Instagram on December 6, 2013, and it was shortly followed by another group shot on December 20.

The caption on the second photo – “Hot damn I’ve got some seriously sexy friends” with the hashtag #besties – appeared to hint that things were still pretty casual.


August 18, 2014: Hudgens’ birthday message to Butler cemented them as a couple.

Instagram/VanessaHudgensShe called him ‘the lover of my life.’

The following August, Hudgens took to Instagram to confirm that not only were she and Butler in a relationship but also that she loved him.

“Yesterday was the love of my life’s birthday,” she wrote on August 18, 2014. “Happy birthday to the man with the kindest heart, beautiful soul, crazy talent and best looks I’ve ever seen. He never stops inspiring me in every aspect of life and always lifts those around him up higher. I thank god so greatly for blessing the world 23 years ago by creating Austin Butler.”


August 22, 2015: Butler posted his first picture of Hudgens on Instagram.

Evan Agostini/Invision/APHe posted a caption-less picture of her.

Approximately one year later, “The Carrie Diaries” star returned the favour by sharing the first photo of his girlfriend to Instagram. It had no caption.


August 31, 2015: Butler spoke publicly about his relationship with Hudgens for the first time.

Denise Truscello/WireImageHe spoke to ETOnline about the relationship.

Despite staying mum on Instagram, the reticent star spoke about what made their relationship work so well during the MTV Music Video Awards in 2015.

“It’s important to put that other person first,” the actor said in an interview with ETOnline. “If you’re constantly looking for ways that you can make them happy, and they’re constantly looking for ways that they can make you happy, then you kind of lift each other up as much as possible and you can’t go wrong.”


March 23, 2017: Hudgens opened up about how the couple makes their long-distance relationship work.

Jeffrey Mayer/WireImageThe couple did long distance.

In 2017, the pair navigated taking their relationship long-distance while Butler was in New Zealand filming the second season of “The Shannara Chronicles.”

“Just communication, communication is key,” Hudgens told People in a March 2017 interview about their “very long-distance” romance.

Her words of advice? “I think that if anything’s bothering you, don’t hold it in,” she said. “Always bring it up and just talk about it. Un-censor yourself and just be open.”


December 16, 2017: Reports swirled that they were engaged, but Hudgens quickly shut them down.

John Lamparski/WireImageHudgens addressed engagement rumours.

The actress sent her fans into overdrive when she shared an Instagram post on December 16, 2017, that showed her wearing a diamond sparkler on her ring finger.

She quickly set the record straight, taking to Twitter on December 19 to clarify: “Guysssss. I’m not engaged! I posted a pic. Not to show off my ring that I happened to throw on that finger after a long day of filming but to show off my haircut Lol.”


March 29, 2018: Hudgens explained that she’s in no rush to get engaged.

Michael Tran/FilmMagicThe couple said they are happy as is.

Hudgens addressed the engagement reports in a March 2018 interview with ETOnline, telling fans that they shouldn’t get their hopes up for a Hudgens-Butler engagement anytime soon.

When asked if the speculation had put pressure on the pair, she told the publication, “No, because if I felt pressure in a relationship, we wouldn’t have been together for almost seven years.”

She played coy when questioned if the thought of marriage was currently on her mind. “Each couple has their own journey,” she replied.


December 13, 2018: Hudgens called Butler her “rock” and shared the secret to their relationship.

Daniel Zuchnik/FilmMagicHudgens and Butler’s relationship is still going.

On December 13, 2018, the actress told ETOnline that her boyfriend’s continued support means “everything” to her.

“He’s a wonderful supporter … I’m happy to have him here,” she said to the publication. “I think it’s so important to have a person who is your rock.”

Hudgens’ interview echoes remarks she made in August that the pair “always [has] each others’ backs.”

That same year, in an interview with Women’s Health, she attributed the success of her relationship to the fact that Butler inspires her to be better.

“He inspires me more than anyone,” she told the publication. “We both respect, trust, and admire each other. It’s so solid now because I feel strong as an independent woman. I am very self-reliant, but it’s nice to have a best friend you can share victories with as well as losses … He inspires me more than anyone.”


January 14, 2020: The pair reportedly broke up.

Frazer Harrison/Getty ImagesThe pair met over a decade ago.

On Tuesday, a source confirmed to UsWeekly that the pair had broken up after dating for nearly nine years. Neither Butler nor Hudgens has publicly commented on these reports.

Their last public appearance together was in August at the UNICEF Summer Gala in Italy and their last Instagram photo together was shared in October, on Halloween.

Read More:

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.